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Nick Cave Art

Nick Cave (UNITED STATES, b. 1959)

Nick Cave (b. 1959) confronts violence and trauma with hopeful exuberance in vibrant art that ranges from sculpture and installation to video and performance. The best-known works in his ongoing Soundsuits series are sometimes displayed as static objects, but they come to life when worn for performances. The costumes consume a body in beads, sequins, faux fur, dyed hair, buttons, raffia, colorful fabric, salvaged musical instruments and an eclectic gathering of other materials so that a performer is kaleidoscopically transformed.

The humble and widely familiar materials that comprise the Soundsuits — frequently acquired at flea markets and thrift stores — are elevated in these assemblages, reorganized so that they become something majestic. Cave created the first of the Soundsuits in 1992 in reaction to the Los Angeles police department’s beating of Rodney King the previous year. In dramatically masking a person, the suits can, as Cave puts it, “hide gender, race, class — so you’re forced to look at something without judgment.”

Born in Fulton, Missouri, Cave is now based in Chicago and continues to push into new media as he advocates for social justice and empowerment through his art. His study of fiber arts at the Kansas City Art Institute as well as his summers with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the early 1980s led to his enduring interest in the body. Whether bringing a percussive performance with dancers and horse-like costumes to Grand Central Terminal in 2013 or filling a gallery at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art with a monumental installation of found objects woven with millions of beads in response to gun violence and the deaths of Black people at the hands of police in 2016, Cave reveals the power of joy through dynamic materials.

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Head Dressed
By Nick Cave
Located in Santa Fe, NM
The print focuses on a detail of Nick Cave’s Soundsuit building a vast and dimensional baroque garden. Rather than covering the body entirely, Cave exposes the wearers torso to the v...
Category

2010s Performance Nick Cave Art

Materials

Lithograph

Amalgam (Brown)
By Nick Cave
Located in Kansas City, MO
Artist: Nick Cave Title: Amalgam (Brown) Medium: Four-color Lithograph Size: 32.5 x 22" Year: 2015 Edition: 95 Nick Cave (born February 4, 1959 in Fulton, Missouri, USA) is an Ameri...
Category

2010s Contemporary Nick Cave Art

Materials

Lithograph

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Previously Available Items
Head Dressed
By Nick Cave
Located in Santa Fe, NM
The print focuses on a detail of Nick Cave’s Soundsuit building a vast and dimensional baroque garden. Rather than covering the body entirely, Cave exposes the wearers torso to the v...
Category

2010s Performance Nick Cave Art

Materials

Lithograph

Head Dressed
By Nick Cave
Located in Santa Fe, NM
Nick Cave’s Head Dressed is a brilliant color 2019 lithograph. The print focuses on a detail of Nick Cave’s iconic Soundsuit building a vast and dimensional baroque garden. Head Dres...
Category

2010s Contemporary Nick Cave Art

Materials

Lithograph

NICK CAVE DOUBLE SIDED, INFLATABLE PUNCHING BAG
By Nick Cave
Located in New York, NY
Standing a full five-feet tall and donning a multi-colored human-hair Soundsuit on one side and a swirling sequined Soundsuit on the other is every kids perfect sparring partner. Fil...
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